Sakaja, Igathe manifestos: Key plans for city residents

Johnson Sakaja and Polycarp Igathe

Nairobi gubernatorial candidates Johnson Sakaja (left) and Polycarp Igathe. All opinion polls rank the two as the frontrunners in the race to become governor of Nairobi County, home of Kenya’s capital.


Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Dealing with garbage menace, reduction of perennial traffic jams, and ensuring medicine is available in health facilities will be priorities for Governor Ann Kananu’s successor.

The plans feature prominently in the manifestos of the two frontrunners for the Nairobi gubernatorial race launched last week.

UDA party’s Johnson Sakaja (Kenya Kwanza) and Jubilee’s Polycarp Igathe (Azimio) are in a two-horse race to become the fourth governor of the capital city.

The crowded gubernatorial contest also includes seven other candidates although the battle has narrowed down to the two.

In plans to deal with incessant traffic snarl ups in Nairobi, Mr Sakaja is betting on coming up with an integrated mass transit plan that will incorporate smart solutions to decongest the city centre and subsequently reduce the time spent in traffic jams by 80 percent.

This will see the introduction of a city metro commuter light rail as well as safe and reliable infrastructure for non-vehicular transport with the politician saying he will leverage on an infrastructure bond to fund such development.

On the other hand, Mr Igathe plans to facilitate and fast-track the Metropolitan Commuter Rail Ring, support the completion of the Nairobi Railway City Project as well as designate pick up and drop off zones for matatus throughout the county.

In regards to the solid waste problem, Mr Sakaja, the outgoing Nairobi Senator, plans to provide adequate infrastructure for waste disposal by providing waste bins in both residential and commercial areas and also deal swiftly with corruption and conflict of interest in the waste management sector.

But more importantly, invest in renewable power generation from solid waste to provide affordable electricity to homes and businesses.

For Mr Igathe, he wants to ensure timely and effective collection of garbage as well as the cleaning and protection of Nairobi rivers.

Nairobi is currently in a garbage mess with mounds of solid waste strewn all over the city as the Nairobi Metropolitan Service grapples with collection challenges.

Into health matters, Mr Igathe is committing to have 24-hour health facilities in every sub-county, having medicine available in all medical facilities as well as increasing ICU beds and treatment facilities while equipping and maintaining the health facilities.

The plans mirror those of Mr Sakaja who, in addition, has pledged to build capacity and increase the number of health professionals, establish a county blood bank, settle Kemsa debts and address issues on CBA agreements.

The two have committed to introduce free school feeding programmes for all public primary schools and enhanced bursaries as part of reforms in the education sector.

Mr Igathe, a former Nairobi deputy governor, plans to partner with the national government to build five secondary schools per sub-county, build and equip a TVET and talent centre in every ward as well as five ECD schools per ward.

“Our school feeding programme will focus on children living in informal settlements and low income areas,” said Mr Igathe.

The Senator, on the other hand, commits to model and equip vocational training centres into technical and skills hubs and ensure they are adequately funded and have modernised training equipment.

“We will also build 17 centres for children with special needs, establish community libraries, and offer free early childhood education.”

In terms of provision of an enabling business environment, Mr Igathe has pledged to introduce a universal single business permit, eliminate unnecessary fees and charges, pay genuine pending bills and facilitate light manufacturing hubs in every ward.

Further, he will establish a Sh850 million ‘Wezesha Biashara’ credit guarantee fund for youth and women and build 150 new modern markets.

For his part, Mr Sakaja commits to introduce an electronic unified single business permit and instant online licenses renewal, build 20 modern markets, establish a Sh50 million Biashara Fund as well as simplify and automate the planning, building and construction approvals.

“In terms of service delivery, we will deal decisively and immediately with corruption, mismanagement, waste, and under-performance,” said Mr Sakaja.

For Mr Igathe, he will digitise service delivery and ensure timely payment of salaries, allowances and benefits for City Hall workers.

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